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Author Topic: Will there be a new H5D at the Photokina?  (Read 23063 times)
hasselbladfan
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« on: June 14, 2012, 02:20:13 AM »
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I was surprised to hear from my dealer that the Hasselblad price reductions are only temporary (till the Photokina).

Then the prices will go up again.

Is this the preparation of a new H5D model? Did anybody hear the same?
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 02:31:52 AM »
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I was surprised to hear from my dealer that the Hasselblad price reductions are only temporary (till the Photokina).

Then the prices will go up again.

Is this the preparation of a new H5D model? Did anybody hear the same?


I would easily make a bet on that. There is no way they wil increase those same prices again.
But of course the new model will be prices high.
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JV
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 06:56:25 AM »
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There is no way they wil increase those same prices again.

I am not sure about that.  I sincerely doubt whether Hasselblad (and Phase One for that matter) already get it.  Both have a tendency to bury their head in the sand and only look at each other.  It might take another Canon or Sony to enter the 30MP market for them to get it.  If they cannot make a 40MP solution available for around $10K they are both doomed or confined to an ever smaller and more expensive niche market...

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hasselbladfan
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 09:38:00 AM »
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Remember the official excuse for high MF prices : it is much more expensive to produce larger sensors / much more scrap.

In reality, a H4D40 has only a 65% larger sensor size than a D800, so don't tell me they have so much more scrap. This may have been the case in the early days, but no longer now.

Time now for a real price decrease : a H4D40 below $10,000.
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shadowblade
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 10:26:15 AM »
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Live view and lens selection are the other two elephants in the room.

If a D800e or other 35mm-format camera can match digital MF for image quality (taking into account the fact that 35mm-format lenses tend to be sharper, but require more enlargement for the same print size), it then comes down to ease of use. DSLRs have had effective live view for years now, making focusing for macro and tilt-shift lenses much easier and more accurate. MF backs, on the other hand, are stuck using antiquated ground glasses, using loupes to try to focus on a tiny ground glass which is really too small for accurate focus - what works on an 8x10 back doesn't work so well when the image on the ground glass is only 54x41mm in size.

Lens selection is the other issue. Leaving aside long telephotos (which tend to be more a 35mm-format thing anyway, for action photography) MF backs, particularly those attached to an SLR camera system like Mamiya or Hasselblad, are very limited in terms of UWA and tilt-shift options. When you're trying to get everything in sharp focus for a landscape shot, the lack of tilt-shift hurts - what's the point of 40, 60 or 80 megapixels if the foreground or background are blurred to a much lower resolution anyway, due to the position of the focal plane (even if it still technically counts as 'sufficiently sharp', it is unlikely to be '40MP sharp' without using movements)? Also, UWA lenses are a staple of landscape photography. The widest lens available, 28mm, isn't particularly wide...
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jduncan
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 07:29:14 PM »
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Remember the official excuse for high MF prices : it is much more expensive to produce larger sensors / much more scrap.

In reality, a H4D40 has only a 65% larger sensor size than a D800, so don't tell me they have so much more scrap. This may have been the case in the early days, but no longer now.

Time now for a real price decrease : a H4D40 below $10,000.


It's complicated. I may not work. If the people rush to buy the sub 10K medium format camera they may be able to recover from the lower price. But is difficult to measure how much can the medium format market grow.

65% larger is a lot in microelectronics. Most the bad numbers grow faster than the area. And the good ones go down faster than the area too. And the area is already x^2 with respect to resolution.

An alternative is to drop the 40mpixel and go up with bigger /more dense sensors. In that area Phase One is ahead because of sensor+

Hasselblad could attempt CMOS and  do magic to get the medium format class tonal range.

As I say is complicated, and lower prices could be deadly (if almost only the same folks buy the cameras but at a lower prices) or a salvation if people drop the Canon and Nikons and go to buy a full new system, just because 10K and  40Mpixels vs 36Mpixels.

Best regards,
James



« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 07:31:05 PM by jduncan » Logged

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hasselbladfan
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 04:13:21 AM »
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James,

Not offering a below 10k H4D40 may be deadly also. The market is much smaller than in the film area and seem to be shrinking.

Just watch some of the discussions here and you notice that some MF users are moving to D800E.
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Kagetsu
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2012, 07:03:47 AM »
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Just a quick one, the cost of the sensor is dictated by the overall cost of the silicon wafer.

Additionally, you can't just "fill up the gaps" on a silicon wafer either. You print one size and that's it.
A quick google nets this link:
http://home.comcast.net/~pstlarry/FFRevenu.htm
The table is pretty straight forward, and the same philosophy trends similarly for larger sizes.

From the table at the top, an increase in size for a square from of 10mm x 10mm to 15mm x 15mm nets a total output almost 1/3rd for the smaller sensor. Add into that complications of placement, multiple processing for larger dies etc, the costs clearly increased dramatically. It's not a simple matter of saying "well Canon and Nikon..."
Software side, sure, so long as it's not hardware limited, but it's not as easy to compare them. The cost of the sensor in a full 645 sensor (60-80mp) is probably in the order of $10,000-15,000 considering the quantity produces, the cost of producing the die to make the chips etc, and taking into economics of scale. Hell, it may cost more then that.
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julienlanoo
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2012, 08:18:31 AM »
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After having talked to a Hassy importer in FR, and meeting some people at a reception from a "competing" company that is not phase one in Basel on thursday, I seriously doubt it ... Smiley
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sbernthal
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2012, 12:49:06 PM »
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The cost of the sensor in a full 645 sensor (60-80mp) is probably in the order of $10,000-15,000 considering the quantity produces, the cost of producing the die to make the chips etc, and taking into economics of scale. Hell, it may cost more then that.

The production cost of a digital back that is sold for $30,000, is $2,000.
Why did the MFDB companies choose to sell them for such a high price?
In these prices they do not compete against Canon but only against each other.
They keep low volume sales, and can afford to have high redundancies.
If they enter the ring vs. Canon they will most likely be annihilated, as Canon has unlimited R&D budgets, and excellent production efficiency.
They chose to live in a slow pace market of 6,000 units a year, rather than in the cutthroat market of 100,000+ units a year.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 12:52:02 PM by sbernthal » Logged
yaya
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2012, 01:06:40 PM »
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The production cost of a digital back that is sold for $30,000, is $2,000

Care to share the secrets of producing a back for $2,000?
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shadowblade
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2012, 01:40:19 PM »
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Care to share the secrets of producing a back for $2,000?

Polaroid film and a fast, minature inbuilt scanner :p
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2012, 03:36:55 PM »
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Care to share the secrets of producing a back for $2,000?


So maybe you can give us a number closer to the truth, Yair.
I know there are a lot of costs before the production starts,
but the actual production I would guess is less than 5000US$.
Last few years the prices for the silicon wafers has decreased a lot
after China has started production.
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jduncan
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2012, 07:42:37 PM »
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James,

Not offering a below 10k H4D40 may be deadly also. The market is much smaller than in the film area and seem to be shrinking.

Just watch some of the discussions here and you notice that some MF users are moving to D800E.

Totally agree with you. That's one component of the complicated part. I just hope that they find the proper balance. An option will be to add a more appealing system for the prosummer, or getting a better camera at the low end.

Best regards,
James
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sbernthal
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2012, 01:02:24 AM »
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Care to share the secrets of producing a back for $2,000?

This number was given to me by a hardware engineer that was working at one of the digital back companies five years ago.
Since the prices to consumer have not changed much, I believe the cost of production did not change significantly either.
In production cost I don't include the upkeep of the R&D facility.
If the sensor cost was $10000-15000 as someone here suggested, there would not be enough money left to pay your salary.

The person who gave me this number is currently employed at a fortune 500 company, so I am pretty sure he is credible.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 01:13:20 AM by sbernthal » Logged
yaya
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2012, 01:13:22 AM »
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This number was given to me by a hardware engineer that was working at one of the digital back companies five years ago.

Good thing he was an engineer and not someone in charge of procurement  Wink

If $2,000 was the cost of making a back, then a D800 would cost $200 to make....which I do not believe is the case...sorry...
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sbernthal
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2012, 02:12:23 AM »
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If $2,000 was the cost of making a back, then a D800 would cost $200 to make....which I do not believe is the case...sorry...

That equation is not true.

The profit margin for an economy car selling in very high volumes, is maybe 10%, for a luxury SUV over 60%, for an extreme luxury car selling in very small volumes can be easily 80%.

The same rule applies to any other product.

Are you implying that a company that sells 1,000 units a year, can sell at the same margin as a company that sells 10,000,000 units a year?

("Canon, which competes with Xerox in printers and Nikon and Sony Corp in cameras, aims to sell 9.2 million interchangeable lens cameras and 22 million compact cameras in the year to December, compared with 7.2 million and 18.7 million, respectively, last year." -Reuters)

Margins vs volume - http://articles.esources.co.uk/id/126/
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 02:36:15 AM by sbernthal » Logged
Kumar
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2012, 02:46:25 AM »
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See Paul C. Buff's explanation here: http://www.paulcbuff.com/faq.php#international

Kumar
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Kagetsu
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2012, 02:48:07 AM »
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Kind of what I'm getting at in my original post. Probably the raw cost is much less then that, but once you consider the cost of scaling production etc. 10-15K isn't unreasonable.

Lets say they aim to sell maybe 50 camera's a month at Phase one or Hasselblad, I don't know, but just guessing it's about that, and from my dealing with Phase one, they were unable to produce them as fast as the parts could be supplied, I waited 6 weeks before it was delivered.
They have to consider the cost of making the die that prints the circuit boards (in which case it'd require at least 4 dies to produce a standard MFD sensor (a die max size is 24x24) and cost of erroneous runs etc would bump it all up considerably too. The collaborative cost is significant for small quantities.

But back onto topic... I hope they do have something new at Photokina... I don't think it'd hurt, but the H4D system is still relatively new by MFD standards.
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sbernthal
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2012, 03:05:28 AM »
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There is a big difference between a per-unit cost of production (money paid to suppliers) and cost of operation (salaries and office space).

Let use some imaginary numbers - please don't challenge me on these numbers, as they are just examples.

Leaf sells 1,000 units per year.
Average sale price to consumer $20,000.
Average price paid to Leaf per unit by dealer $10,000.
Total revenue $10,000,000.

Expenses:
Let's say average cost of producing a unit is $3,000 (BTW, there is minimal difference in the production cost of a $40,000 back and a $15,000 back.)
Production: 1000*$3000 = $3,000,000
Salaries and office space for 30 people: $5,000,000
Total expenses: $8,000,000

Profit: $2m


Now let's make a 50% price reduction:
Lets say sales triple as a result of the price cut.
Cost of production goes down maybe 30% due to higher volume.
Cost of operations goes up maybe 20% due to higher volume.

So:

Leaf sells 3,000 units per year.
Average sale price to consumer $10,000.
Average price paid to Leaf per unit by dealer $5,000.
Total revenue $15,000,000.

Expenses:
Average cost of producing a unit is $2,000
Production: 3000*$2000 = $6,000,000
Salaries and office space for 40 people: $6,000,000
Total expenses: $12,000,000

Profit: $3m

==>

You are working three times as hard, and making only $1m more in profit.
Of course you could be selling now 5 times than before, and making $8m profit - but if you sell only twice as before, profit would be $0.

Negative side effects:
- Very increased exposure to fluctuations in costs, due to decreased margin. Now an earthquake in Taiwan can bring you to bankruptcy.
- Now you are taking bread out of the mouth of Canon - and they will make a move to compete and devour you. They can set up much more cost effective production lines, procurement and sales.



Regarding the actual numbers: the $2,000 numbers is a correct number for 5 years ago.
There is no way the per unit production cost today is more than $5000.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 06:39:13 AM by sbernthal » Logged
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